The Pittsburgh Steelers were back at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex Tuesday for Day 1 of their mandatory minicamp. The Steelers have had tremendous participation throughout all three phases of Organized Team Activities (OTAs), so minicamp workouts have been focused on getting better, and not who is in attendance.
This article is going to give fans all the perspective they’ll need to take in tidbits from the workout, as well as video and photos from the day of work.
Let’s get to the news...
No hold out for Highsmith
This past weekend when news caught fire of the Steelers showing interest in Washington Commanders pass rusher Chase Young, most people asked the same question.
“What does this mean for Alex Highsmith?”
As more and more players around the league are holding out of mandatory minicamp to make a statement about their current contractual situation, don’t lump Highsmith into that group.
While he still wants a new deal, he is at practice and is working out as if he does have a contract...because he does.
Alex Highsmith would like to get a deal done before training camp. He said he likes the direction of the negotiations. He would not say how much he would participate in minicamp, but he said it was important for him to be here. First minicamp practice starts in an hour.— Ray Fittipaldo (@rayfitt1) June 13, 2023
Alex Highsmith on if he hopes to have a contract extension done before Steelers training camp begins pic.twitter.com/xFANFCIZmv— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) June 13, 2023
The Steelers hosted two inside linebackers for try-outs on Tuesday. You can see those names below:
The Steelers are hosing two inside linebackers for tryouts:— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) June 13, 2023
Former Bears ILB Nick Kwiatkowski
Former Panthers ILB Jermaine Carter
Grady Brown, the Steelers secondary coach, spoke to the media and talked about everything from Patrick Peterson’s overall usage in the secondary, as well as why the team targeted defensive backs like Joey Porter Jr. and Cory Trice Jr. in the 2023 NFL Draft who have extreme size and length.
Grady Brown said that the Steelers are using Pat Pete in a similar way to how they used Cam Sutton.— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) June 13, 2023
Peterson brought up the idea of playing everywhere, and Mike Tomlin made a decree to the coaches that it's going to happen.
"Coach T made sure to let us know that'll happen."
Why did the Steelers target the length of Joey Porter Jr. and Cory Trice?— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) June 13, 2023
To help take away the deep ball, Grady Brown says.
"They cover a lot of ground and occupy space. They're long on the deep ball. That was an issue for us....down the field, long guys get longer."
Brian Baldinger isn’t a Steelers beat writer. He is an NFL Network analyst. However, when “Baldy” is at Steelers minicamp you tend to watch his clips and analysis he puts on Twitter a little closer than the typical clips. Here was Baldy’s viewpoint of Tuesday’s workout.
Work in progress
Considering the Steelers hosted two players Tuesday on try-outs at inside linebacker it is safe to assume the team isn’t 100% sold on their current inside linebacker situation. With that said, when defensive coordinator Teryl Austin spoke with media he was asked about Mark Robinson. How he was progressing, and if he could potentially be an answer for the Steelers defense. Austin’s answer said it all, calling Robinson a “work-in-progress”.
Steelers DC Teryl Austin said Mark Robinson is still a work in progress, but he said the hope is he will be ready to compete for a starting job next season.— Ray Fittipaldo (@rayfitt1) June 13, 2023
Longevity is key
Najee Harris spoke to media, and he talked about how longevity is key, especially at the running back position. In fact, when he was told Tom Brady was 45 when he retired from the NFL, Harris was stunned.
RB Najee Harris had great insight today about the perceived short shelf life of running backs and the young age many end up looking for work.— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) June 13, 2023
He was also shocked to learn Tom Brady was 45 when he retired.
“He was 45? Gah damn.” pic.twitter.com/H7CQ4BLJ0W
In a classy move, Mike Tomlin opened up his post-practice media session with a thoughtful message about the late Stan Savran. Stan was more than just a fixture within the Pittsburgh sports scene, but also with the Steelers. He will be greatly missed. RIP.
Steelers OLB coach Denzel Martin on rookie Nick Herbig pic.twitter.com/ZDlmQMbW9S— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) June 13, 2023
New Steelers ILB coach Aaron Curry on when he knew he would go into coaching after his playing career ended pic.twitter.com/bGsGQRnoK7— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) June 13, 2023
Steelers special teams coordinator Danny Smith on if he expects the new fair-catch kickoff rule to be deployed often pic.twitter.com/x40MsXYd2R— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) June 13, 2023
Diontae Johnson going through some individual drills at Steelers minicamp Day 1 pic.twitter.com/w1TkFbt3FJ— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) June 13, 2023
No helmets for Steelers TE Pat Freiermuth and WR George Pickens on day 1 of minicamp pic.twitter.com/TqJio59mxE— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) June 13, 2023